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Online Videos May 23, 2006

Posted by dhar in Misc.
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Full Length Cartoons on YouTube.

Watch Videos Online: PeekVid. (via Anand). PeekVid even has episodes (001 to 185) of Naruto, one of my favourite Anime series.


Bridge of Birds May 22, 2006

Posted by dhar in Books.

Against the exotic backdrop of China thirteen and a half centuries ago — a land filled with magic as Tolkien's middle earth — two odd companions seek the Great Root of Power. Number Ten Ox is a strong and eager, but rather naive, young peasant; Li Kao is a wily sage with a slight flaw in his character and a weakness for rice wine. Together they undertake a perilious quest to save the children of Ox's village from death by poison.

The path they take leads them to a homicidal matriarch, the cruelest duke in history, monsters both visible and invisible, men more deadly than monsters, treacherous labyrinths, pleading ghosts whose pleas are incomprehensible and the gradual realization that before they can accomplish their task they must complete another one: solve a baffling mystery that occurred a thousand years they were born.

Sounds interesting? Then you gotta read Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart.

PS: Not sure of the legality, but this looks like the original draft of the book. Incidentally it differs a bit from the final version.

PPS: Anyone here ever read Jason Cosmo?

Undercover May 21, 2006

Posted by dhar in Technology.
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Undercover: Bad News for Mac Thieves

Cost Effective Diffusion Filter Substitute May 21, 2006

Posted by dhar in Photography, Technology.
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A diffusion filter, often used by photographers to get soft lighting effects, costs a lot of money. Here is something different that you can try and get similar resumts (YMMV):

Just stretch a pantyhose in front of the lens and secure it with a pair of rubberbands. If the lighing is not as soft as you want, just experiment with the tautness, till you get the right lighting level.

Voila, now you have an easy to use,cost effective diffusion filter replacement.

Free Crypto Book! May 20, 2006

Posted by dhar in Books, Technology.
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If you are looking for a good book on Cryptography, you can try the Handbook of Applied Cryptography. It is available as a free download. 

Those into crypto, can also try out Schneier's Self Study Course in Block Cipher Cryptanalysis.

HTTPS and WordPress May 20, 2006

Posted by dhar in Misc.
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Cool find of the day. WordPress.com runs a https server. If you so desire, you can connect to https://dhar.wordpress.com. Neato!

Improve Your Digital Pics May 18, 2006

Posted by dhar in Technology.

For those into Digital Photography, these two programs may be indispensable:

  1. Noise Ninja
  2. Perfectly Clear

Another application which I plan to try out once I am back in India is Lightzone. Have been hearing lot of good things about it. But before you get started with these applications, it might be a good idea to calibrate your monitor. Spyder2 comes highly recommended.

Are there applications other than Photoshop, Picassa and Gimp that you have used and found useful? If yes, just use the comments section.

PS: Sample images showing the two tools in action will be uploaded soon.

Technology Adoption May 17, 2006

Posted by dhar in Technology.

While doing my MBA, we often did case studies on Technology Adoption. Often these cases would feature companies with superior products that did not win the marketing battle. In many cases it was small things that often decided the format wars.

Sometime back, I had created a WordPress account. In spite of realizing that WordPress is a superior blogging platform compared to Blogger (sorry, Eric), the transition was not happening. While I could not place a finger on what was required to make that happen, I just realized Blogger had its limitations and was ready to live with that.

A couple of days back, I read Vivek's blog and found that WordPress now allows users to import their previous blogs posts as well as comments. Finally, it was not the various advanced features of WordPress that convinced me to make a switch. It was a small, probably afterthought kinda feature that persuaded me to cross the chasm. I suspect the same was the case for my cousin Sunny.

For those of you still on Blogger (yes Jeet, I mean you), give WordPress a shot. You probably have nothing to lose. 🙂

Swiss Pics May 9, 2006

Posted by dhar in Misc.

Currently on project at Switzerland. Did some sightseeing on the weekend and here are the snaps.

Partially Colored Images April 16, 2006

Posted by dhar in Misc.

Flower2 Flower2 cut
Flowers Coloured Flowers Partial Colors

The Technique:
Open image in GIMP or any other photo manipulation program. Select from Menu: Layer -> Colors -> Hue-Saturation. Click the radio button of the colors you DON’T want in the image. Set their saturation level to -100. From Flickr Technique